Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Write It Out

In the recent issue of Tennis Magazine, the psychology section had a pretty interesting article on the importance of writing as preparation for any big event - such as running a race or playing a tennis match.

The article was written by Sian Beilock, a psychology professor at The University of Chicago. I'd recommend getting your hands on the whole article soon...but here are some of the highlights:

*Some new psychology research shows that spending 10 minutes writing about your thoughts and feelings before a high-stress event can boost performance.
*Despite what some might think, putting negative thoughts down on paper downloads them from your mind, making them less likely to pop up and derail you in an important moment.
*Scientists recently discovered that people facing an upcoming pressure-filled situation can benefit from getting their worries on paper in the few hours immediately before they perform.
*Worries regarding performance are problematic because they can deplete a part of the brain's processing power known as working memory. This working memory comes into play when planning game strategy or trying to predict what shot an opponent will attempt next.
*When worries creep up, we are robbed of the brain power necessary to be smart on the court (or road!)...writing down these worries ahead of time helps get that power back.
*Why writing? It reduces the tendency to ruminate because it not only provides us with an opportunity to express our concerns, but to re-read them and gain insight into the source of our stress.

Pretty interesting, right? I think it is definitely worth a try...and I think we can all use a little help in the mental aspect of our training!

1 comment:

  1. Ok, this is such an insightful post! I LOVE it! I am a HUGE believer in writing things down! It really DOES help me gain insight AND I have personally experienced feeling better by "downloading" negative feelings and then being able to leave them on paper and walk away. Truly, truly helps!

    What an exciting idea that I can write down my thoughts and feelings before a high-stress event and expect to be able to perform better! I will definitely try this! Thank you for this post!


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